214. To Deliver or Not To Deliver

Got a gig today where I had to redesign a website but couldn’t do it. I was sure that the redesigns were relatively simple to do once I was logged in. But … no.

I was sure because the WordPress theme was a premium with lots of options, but only about 50-70 per cent of the options allowed me to do what I wanted to do. And my skill in CSS-code to further tweak the layout are subpar for this kind of work.

So I took a shot that I could do it, quickly, and therefore to a low fee. But as the hours dragged out I could see it wouldn’t work. I wasn’t even sure I could ever do it, if I was paid for all the hours I used.

So I quit and wrote the customer an email with best suggestions to go forward from here, so they could save some money, at least, on the next guy they hired. For example, by fixing a lot of the updates that needed to be done and which made the website unstable to work with.

I heard nothing from them, or at least haven’t heard anything yet.

I’m not sure I expect gratitude, but maybe for a second I expected some recognition of the hard work I had done, not in the least to help my customer with what I had. I looked up links and contact details for the theme providers, which I thought were best suited – and cheapest – to help with further redesigns, instead of hiring someone new again – maybe even someone who would take all the gold and install a completely new and useless website.

Maybe it will come, maybe not – a little email saying: ‘Thanks for the work you did do’. But the truth is that even if it doesn’t I will have to learn to live with it.

The facts are simple in private business – a customer ordered a service. I said I could deliver. I couldn’t.

I didn’t bill them anything so they don’t owe me for my time. They would only owe me for results. That’s what you pay for. Pure and simple.

And I didn’t deliver results.

In a way it is refreshing. Not like university where you could get away with writing something clever but which ultimately didn’t help someone. Or a relationship where you can appeal to someone’s sympathy.

Here it is just that: Deliver results and get something. Don’t deliver – don’t get anything.

It is hard, but should it really be any different?